KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship is staying in Kansas City through 2020. The conference announced that in addition to hosting the 2016 men's tournament, the Sprint Center and KC will host it from 2017-2020.
KC and Sprint Center KEEP Big 12 Men's bball tourney through 2020! #fox4kc
— FOX 4 Sports (@fox4sports) May 28, 2015
"Kansas City, once again, stepped up and made a substantial offer. As always, made promises and always over-delivered on those promises," said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
Kansas City had submitted a bid in April to host the men's championship all four years. KC has hosted 14 of the 19 Big 12 Men's Championships, including the last six at Sprint Center.
Oklahoma City and Dallas also submitted bids. Oklahoma City last hosted the men's tournament in 2009. Dallas and Oklahoma City also submitted bids to host the women's championship in 2017 through 2020, with the conference awarding it to Oklahoma City.
Getting to play host for all four years the Kansas City Sports Commission bid for came as a slight surprise to president and CEO Kathy Nelson.
"I think I really expected two or three years, just because they're going to do what is best for the conference," Nelson told FOX 4. "But when you look at the championship the last year, the last two or three years, I knew it would be hard for another city to compete.
Nick Benjamin, the executive director of the Power and Light District, said it's a major win for Kansas City.
"I don't think it matters which school you support. Coming to Kansas City for the tournament is a fun event. We've seen that over the last however many years and we'll see it through the next five," he said.
Visit KC reports that the tournament's economic impact for the city is about $9 million. In tandem with two other basketball tournaments, the MIAA and NAIA, the economic impact is a total of $13.3 million, with 75,000 fans visiting Kansas City.